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War Game

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  129 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
In 1914, four British boys dream of competing for the national soccer team, but join the English infantry instead. On Christmas day, after months of fighting, war becomes a game when German and British soldiers break all the rules to play soccer and exchange presents..
Published April 1st 1994 by Arcade Publishing (first published January 1st 1993)
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Steve Rogers
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pgce
War Game By Michael Foreman

War Game chronicles the story of four friends, from the football pitch in Suffolk to the trenches of the Western front. Young and impressionable; Will, Lacey, Billy and Freddy join the army excited by the prospect of adventure in a foreign land. This is a moving story and a painful reminder of the heroism of the young soldiers who fought and died in First World War. It is also a wonderfully human piece about the sense of sympathy that grew between the two opposing for
Brenda Coughlan
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
War Game by Michael Foreman depicts the spontaneous truce that took place on Christmas Day, 1914 on the Western front during the Great War. This beautifully illustrated book begins with 4 young boys playing soccer in Suffolk. They are craving some adventure, an opportunity to travel and so decide to join the fight with the assumption they will be home before Christmas. The author beautifully portrays the innocence of these young boys on their first London bus driving across the French countrysid ...more
Matti Karjalainen
Lastenkirjakuvittajan parhaiten tutuksi tulleen Michael Foremanin kuvakirja "War Game" (Pavilion, 2014) ilmestyi ensimmäistä kertaa jo useampi vuosikymmen sitten, mutta ensimmäisen maailmansodan satavuotismuisteloiden vuoksi siitä on otettu nyt uusi painos. Ja ihan syystä, sillä kyseessä on pienimuotoinen mestariteos, joka toimii myös pienimuotoisena matkana Euroopan historiaan: vesivärikuvitusta tukevat autenttiset lehtileikkeet, propagandajulisteet ja muu aikalaismateriaali.

Kuten kaikki histor
Adam Shaeffer
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Both beautiful and heartbreakingly sad, this lavishly illustrated story reminds us of how similar we all are and in doing so brings home the deep tragedy of war.
Ben Cooke
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic story... just a shame it had to be so true. Combined with elements of non-fiction this book would make a fantastic resource in a classroom of learners studying the World Wars. Displaying the highs and lows of the life of a soldier, you are really able to connect with their story. A great recommendation Mat, was a pleasure to read!
Rachel Magee
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This historical fiction book follows the journey of four young friends who join the British Army during World War I. Throughout the book, it provides real images of propaganda during this time, trench life, No Man's Land, war traditions, and the effects of the war on civilians. This book would be a wonderful addition to a text set that focuses on the perspectives of World War I!
Elizabeth Jamieson
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book promotes all kinds of emotions and is sure to make you reflect on the bravery of our soldiers in the war. A great mix of cartoon pictures and real propaganda from the war time
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is fantastic, but it is a year jerker.
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read a lovely children’s book yesterday - War Game by Michael Foreman, about the horrors of WWI but explained in a way that children could take in. Beautifully written and illustrated.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A masterpiece.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A heartbreaking tribute to the soldiers of WWI. Beautifully illustrated in watercolour. Foreman tells simple truths with huge impact.
This book is the author's tribute to his four lost uncles, two from his father's side and two from his mother's side. The four were friends in a small English village who loved football (soccer), enlisted together, played the famous Christmas football friendly with the Germans in no man's land, and later died in the fighting.

Bright watercolor illustrations seem incongruous in the beginning of the story, but fitting in the end. The enriching narrative provides a high level view of the politics an
The Hobbit
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
96-page novella by one of the foremost children's illustrators from the UK. Dedicated to his four uncles, ages 18-24, killed in WWI, or the Great War, as the Brits call it. Using his uncles names for the main characters, Foreman follows four best friends from the time they enlist among all the patriotic jingoism to the realities of trench warfare, the famous Christmas truce, and their deaths in No Man's Land, the area between the German and the Allied trenches. Reprodcutions of wartime enlistmen ...more
Nov 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: edes-546
War Game is a fiction text that follows three young Britain youth as they embark on the adventure of war. Told through the eyes of one of these young men, War Game provides an historical fiction account of life in the trenches during World War I. The grueling monotony of trench life is broken for a brief period as both sides celebrate Christmas day with a friendly game of football (soccer). Unfortunately the realities of war take the men back to their respective trenches and the fighting ensues. ...more
Feb 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 4th grade and up
The cheery watercolors of this book belie the grim topic and ending, even though there is a Christmas truce in the middle (also subject of the new book Truce, whose review by Elizabeth Bird led me to this one). This longer picture book for older elementary does a good job of presenting the gritty realities of life in the WWI trenches without preaching. The propaganda posters and photos are included with no explanation and are quite chilling ("Even a dog enlists. Why not you?" etc).

"Freddie, bein
Apr 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not the Matthew Broderick film about chimps in the '80s (that's War Games), but a brief story about some village boys going off to fight in World War I, told for children. The centrepiece is a game of football between the English and the Germans in No Mans Land, between the trenches, but there are other touching moments. For me, seeing the contemporary recruitment posters, splashed among the poignant illustrations,  was eye-opening. The army got to the men through their women. Those boys had no ...more
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
"War Game" is the children's version with pictures of "Silent Night: The Remarkable Christmas Truce of 1914" by Stanley Weintraub. It tells how four British boys decide to sign up to go to war, their expectations, the realities of life on the battlefield, and the sacrifice of death. To the alarm and frustration of the officers, these boys with their fellow soldiers and German "enemies" find sanity and friendship in the celebration of Christmas.
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
A short, illustrated small story telling the story of the infamous football game shared between British and German troops on Christmas Day during the first year of the First World War. It sensitively deals with the horrors of the Great War, from the view of young boys. Perfect as an introduction to the First World War for small children.
Feb 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Poignant. And even more so given that the author had four uncles (apparently two brothers of his father and two brothers of his mother) die due to the Great War; one was 18, two were 20 and one was 24.
Nov 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
What a beautiful and moving story set in the trenches of WW1. Extraordinary watercolour illustrations add to the pathos, bravery, cameraderie, humour and tragedy of the tale. Highly recommended for both children and adults.
Jun 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Gotta love a book that summarizes an entire conflict in two sentences.
Douglas Graney
Jan 02, 2009 rated it liked it
A grim topic for a children's book but then again a lot of fairy tales would fall into the "grim" category. If you have a kid that has an interest in WW I and/or soccer this could be a nice gift.
Dec 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Less fictionalized than 'Christmas in the Trenches', and contains more of the atrocities in juxtoposition to the truce.
Jenna Mills
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
A beautiful moving book. This really helped the kids in my class to have an insight into ww1 as well as the find out about the famous Xmas day football match.
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Michael has worked on magazines, book jackets, animated films, TV adverts, and even for the police, sketching criminals described by witnesses. As well as illustrating many of his own books, Michael has illustrated over a hundred books for authors such as Shakespeare, J. M. Barrie, the Brothers Grimm, Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde. Michael has travelled widely - to Africa, Japan, the Arctic Circ ...more
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